By Cormac Looney
Saturday November 21 2009
A €2m seized drug shipment which lead to two of Marlo Hyland's lieutenants being jailed this week was part-owned by Freddie Thompson's gang.
The Herald understands that a Crumlin criminal associate of Thompson was arrested by gardai after the 2006 seizure in the car park of Brown's Barn pub in Citywest.
Two of Hyland's gang members, Willie Hynes (43) and John Mangan (41), have been jailed for their role in overseeing the movement of the cannabis resin shipment.
According to security sources, another man arrested following the seizure was a Crumlin criminal in his late 20s who is known to associate with members of the gang led by south city criminal Thompson.
Gardai believe that part of the massive haul was owned by Thompson and the other part by Hyland, and that the men were meeting at Brown's Barn to divide up the haul of cannabis resin, which had been separated into 14 boxes. The seed money for the shipment is believed to have been around €400,000 -- which was lost by the criminals.
The seizure of the haul represented a major success for gardai who had launched Operation Oak to specfically target Hyland and his Finglas-based associates, including Mangan and Hynes.
The Crumlin connection only became known at the time of the Brown's Barn seizure, it is understood. A number of threats and counter-threats were issued between the gangs after the seizure.
A source said: "This was a bonanza seizure for the guards. Not only did they snare Marlo's top two men, but they also hit the Thompson crew hard in the pocket too.
"There were widespread recriminations after the seizure and it's unclear if the two groups worked together again. One side blamed the other for being lax in their movements and allowing themselves to be picked up."
Hyland was murdered five months after the July 2006 seizure. Gardai do not believe that his death was in any way linked to Brown's Barn incident, but was instead over a power struggle within his own gang after Hyland ordered the murder of his own gang member Paddy Harte, shot dead in May 2006.
The gang who took over the Hyland outfit threatened a number of the gang's old guard after Hyland's death. Mangan himself received death threats while awaiting trial for the Brown's Barn seizure. He armed himself with a handgun, and was later caught in possession of this weapon by gardai.
- Cormac Looney